Pumpkin spice fever is like syphilis. It's contracted easily, spreads quickly, and symptoms include a zombie-like stampede for the antidote: anything containing the rotund orange fruit (yes, pumpkin is a fruit) and that blend of cinnamon-y spices.
Big-shot companies have exploited this phenomenon every autumn for the past decade. From Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte to Shipyard's Pumpkinhead Ale, it's no corporate trade secret that people will shell over bundles of their hard-earned cash to get their pumpkin fix.
It was no surprise when Mars Company released its Pumpkin Spice M&M's at Targets nationwide this fall, and we were just as ecstatic to try them as the next guy. That is, until we took off our pumpkin-tinted glasses long enough to realize we were being ripped off: Pumpkin Spice M&M's don't even taste like pumpkin spice (or whatever pumpkin spice is supposed to taste like), don't contain any pumpkin or cinnamon in their ingredients, and are being packaged in bags three ounces smaller than plain but priced the same.
"This was the worst combination in the M&M product family I've ever tasted," user Storsama wrote in a review on the Pumpkin Spice M&M Target page. "I'm highly disappointed as I am a fan of pumpkin flavoring. The packaging is a lie. It's not pumpkin spice flavored nor chocolate flavored. Hopefully they will make Christmas come true and bring back crispy M&M's since this was a disappointment all around. Steer clear of this product, ye be warned."
We feel you, Stormsama. Thanks, M&M's, for ruining the entire fall season!
When we tried this new Pumpkin Spice M&M, we too were disappointed. These orange, green, and brown pumpkin-patch-inspired candies taste more like stale chocolate M&M's than a specialty seasonal flavor.
Pumpkin spice is usually a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Yet when we looked at the nutritional facts on the other side of the bag, we found no such ingredients, only that an entire bag of M&M's has 1,470 calories and 189 grams of sugar. The bag may contain peanuts, almonds, and wheat, we read, but no traces of pumpkin or spice anywhere.
Almost immediately, we also noticed that the size of the bag was significantly smaller than the regular one. It's marked net weight is 9.90 ounces, but it costs the same amount as a regular 12.60-ounce bag: $2.99. That means you get 21 percent fewer M&M's for your buck.
Not cool, M&M's; not cool.
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